Well, that didn’t last long.

Yesterday, I wrote about the governor of Arkansas vetoing an abortion bill.  Well, the celebration was short-lived.

The Arkansas House voted 53-28 Wednesday to override Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of a bill that would outlaw most abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy, hours after a state Senate committee approved a package of even tighter abortion restrictions.

The Republican-controlled state Senate, which overwhelmingly backed the 20-week near-ban on abortions before Beebe, a Democrat, vetoed it, was expected to discuss whether to vote to override the veto Thursday. Like the GOP-led House, only a simple majority in the Senate is needed to override a veto.

The House-sponsored measure is based on the disputed argument that a fetus can feel pain by the 20th week of pregnancy, and thus deserves protection from abortion. Beebe vetoed the bill Tuesday, saying it contradicts the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion until a fetus can viably survive outside of the womb, which is typically at 22 to 24 weeks.

And on we go to court.  Good try, Mike Beebe.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • http://blog.IAmDanMarshall.com Dan Marshall

    So, since any judge who overturns this odious piece of legislation will no doubt be called an “activist judge” by those on the right, does that mean we get to call the 53 members of the AR house that voted for this crap “activist legislators”?

    • Glodson

      We can call those 53 members in the AR house assholes.

      At least, that works for me.

  • JD

    Welp yet another reason to move out of Arkansas down the line..

  • Jaketoadie

    So wait, AK stat legislature only needs a simple majority to override a gubernatorial veto?

    Doesn’t that pretty much make the veto a useless, symbolic gesture?

    I mean sure, the Governor can veto it, but if it passed with majority support in order to get to their desk in the first place then it will likely retain majority support once it’s vetoed and sent back to the legislative.

    • Ryan

      I wouldn’t discount the power of the symbolic gesture. It can rally support, and sometimes shift votes when the lines are close. Even if it doesn’t achieve that, it can still be a sizable blow to the bloc that passed the measure indicating challenges in other things; for example, those legislators who were reluctantly willing to work with the majority bloc to pass some other measure may withdraw their support if a veto is overridden on this legislation.

    • John Horstman

      Good question – their House has to have at least 81 members, and 2/3 of that is 54, not 53. Maybe they need a 3/5 override?
      [Google Google Google]
      Nope, they do require a simple majority in both chambers to override a veto, which seems mostly pointless (I suppose it grants an opportunity for some additional lobbying).